We all know that a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and good fats can keep you looking and feeling fantastic, but guess what? Eating right is also excellent for your eyes. Certain nutrients can help ward off diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration, protect your eyesight as you age and even combat dry eyes. Consider adding some of these foods for healthy eyes to your menu:
While eating tons and tons of carrots won’t mean you can toss your glasses aside and develop superhero vision (at least we haven’t seen that our Vancouver eyewear store just yet), it’s no myth that the beta-carotene – a kind of Vitamin A – found in carrots and other deep orange and yellow veggies is excellent for retinal health.
Kale, spinach, collards and turnip greens all contain two powerful antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin. Studies have shown that these are important nutrients for eye health and can reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
These eye health defenders all contain vitamin C, which is another top antioxidant thought to help lessen the risk for cataracts and AMD. If you’re wrinkling your nose at the thought of Brussels sprouts, try this recipe and then thank us later!
Nuts and seeds are filled with vitamin E, which can protect cells in the eye from free radical damage. This in turn plays a role in fighting off AMD and cataracts. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study found that vitamin E (a 400 IU/day intake to be exact) combined with beta-carotene, vitamin C and zinc could slow the progression of macular degeneration by about 25 percent!
These foods contain zinc, which is a necessary mineral for keeping your retina healthy and is thought to potentially help with night vision. As noted previously, it’s also one of a combination of vitamins and minerals that can slow the progression of AMD. If you’re a vegetarian, don’t worry you can find zinc in beans, nuts, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals and yogurt.
Egg yolks are another source of the eye-friendly antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, which reduce your risk of AMD and cataracts. Plus, eggs contain zinc too.
Researchers have found a correlation between dry eye syndrome and low levels of DHA, a fatty acid. Studies show that eating fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and herring, which all boast omega-3 fatty acids, can reduce the symptoms of dry eyes and also fight inflammation in the cells of the eyes. Opt for about two servings of cold-water fish on a weekly basis. Vegetarians can still eat food for dry eyes as well, such as ground flaxseed or flaxseed oil, and can get DHA through supplements made with microalgae.
Eating a well-rounded diet that contains these foods or taking supplements to get those much needed vitamins and minerals will boost your eye health. Another great way to see clearly? Finding a stunning pair of glasses. While we can’t do your grocery shopping for you, we can help you in the glasses department. Visit the Spectacle Shoppe in Kerrisdale today and we’ll help you find your next pair of perfect fitting spectacles.